Collett helps National Grid upgrade Fechenham substation
Collett & Sons has provided support to National Grid’s Fechenham substation upgrade with its recently acquired Goldhofer girder bridge. This was the first project taken on by the new 250 tonne girder bridge.
With the National Grid’s Feckenham substation in Redditch currently being upgraded to replace ageing equipment, Collett were appointed to complete delivery of a 172 tonne super grid transformer from Sundon to its new location 118 miles away.
Housed at their Goole heavy lift depot, Collett mobilised the modular trailer, travelling as two separate 10-axle combinations. Arriving on site the two 10-axle sections allowed for the modular girder bridge to be built around the transformer to form a 20-axle loaded configuration.
Undertaking jacking and skidding operations to manoeuvre the 172 tonne cargo, Collett’s heavy lift team positioned and raised the transformer to allow for the construction of the girder bridge configuration. With the transformer raised to the optimum height Collett reversed each half of the girder bridge trailer positioning the side beams under the transformers transport arms and securing the load.
With the transformer securely loaded to the girder bridge trailer the Collett team departed the substation site. Travelling in a push/pull formation with one 8×4 tractor unit pulling the combination and one unit pushing, the convoy began its journey with police escorts in attendance from Bedfordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire constabularies.
After careful route planning by the Collett team, in liaison with both Central Bedfordshire and Worcestershire Councils, the 65.8 metre combination completed the 118-mile journey to Feckenham substation. Once on site at Feckenham, the Collett team hydraulically raised the side beams of the girder bridge, lifting the transformer and allowing for the positioning of timber supports. Once in place the girder bridge was then lowered, resting the super grid transformer on the timbers and allowing for the modular trailer to be split and disassembled from the payload.
With the new Goldhofer girder bridge clear of the super grid transformer, Collett once again employed their hydraulic jacking and skidding system to provide final positioning of the transformer. To ensure maximum safety throughout, as with operations on site at Sundon, Collett had undertaken detailed pressure calculations, detailing the forces and ground pressured during the jacking and skating operations to and from the trailer. Once lowered to rest on the skid track, the hydraulic push pull units extended and retracted between the jacking points on the track to gradually bring the 172 tonne cargo to its resting plinth.
Over the course of the weekend, the Collett team safely delivered and positioned this 172 tonne super grid transformer, assisting with the upgrade of Feckenham substation. The completion of this project sees Collett’s new girder bridge become an integral addition to their fleet, joining Collett’s 350 and 550 Tonne capacity Scheuerle girder bridge and offering an added flexibility for heavy transport projects.